The photo in the book shows a nicely layered cake in which the espresso batter is baked into the middle of the cake with plain batter above and below. Mine ended up more marbled, but regardless, this is one delightful Bundt cake. The batter is made with butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla into which sifted cake flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt is mixed alternately with sour cream. Next, you separate a third of the batter into a second bowl and whisk some cold espresso into it. You first place half of the plain batter in a prepared Bundt pan, then the espresso batter, then the remaining plain batter. The cake bakes for almost an hour and is left to cool. I always fear cakes sticking to the ridges of a Bundt pan and butter them excessively. Thankfully, the cake slipped right out. The glaze was made with confectioners’ sugar and more cold espresso and was poured over all those pretty, Bundt ridges.
To say this cake was a winner is a huge understatement. I always go for espresso flavor in sweets, and it was insanely good in this tender-crumbed cake and glaze. Kurt agreed and at one point asked me to cut a piece for myself so he could have the rest of the cake. I have a feeling there will be similar experiences with everything else I bake from this book.
Espresso Bundt Cake
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The Model Bakery Cookbook.
MAKES 12 SERVINGS
We have customers who can’t get enough coffee. Even though Karen is a tea lover, and is rarely without a glass of iced tea within reach, we pay a lot of attention to the quality of our coffee beans and their preparation. This caffeinated Bundt cake is great any time of day, but it is especially good with a morning cup of freshly brewed coffee.
1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
Unbleached all-purpose flour for the pan
3 cups/390 g cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 cups/400 g granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups/480 ml sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup/120 ml cold brewed espresso or Italian roast coffee (or 1 Tbsp instant espresso dissolved in 1/2 cup/120 ml boiling water)
1 cup/115 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp brewed espresso (or 1 tsp instant espresso dissolved in 3 Tbsp boiling water), as needed
1. TO MAKE THE CAKE: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Butter the inside of a 12-cup/2.8-L fluted tube pan. Dust with all-purpose flour and tap out the excess.
2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. Beat the butter and granulated sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes (or beat by hand with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating them with two equal additions of the sour cream, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, mixing until smooth.
3. Transfer one-third of the batter to a medium bowl. Whisk in the cold espresso. Spoon half of the plain batter into the prepared pan. Top with the espresso batter, and then the remaining plain batter. Smooth the batter with a spatula.
4. Bake until a long bamboo skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes.
5. Run a dinner knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert and unmold onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
6. TO MAKE THE GLAZE: Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in enough of the espresso to make a glaze about the thickness of heavy cream.
7. Put the cake, while still on the cooling rack, over a large plate. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting the excess glaze drip down the sides. Let stand until the glaze sets. The cake can be stored, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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